January 28, 2023 |

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Noach (3)

The Etz Hayyim commentary raises an interesting question about Parshah Noach. God tells Noah he is going to destroy the world in a flood, and that Noah should "make yourself an ark of gopher wood; make it an ark with compartments and cover it inside and out with pitch." (Gen. 6:14) The question is why doesn't God save Noah and his family (and the animals) through some sort of miraculous or supernatural intervention? Why does Noah have to do all this shlepping and building, not to mention feeding and caring for all those animals? We're offered two possible answers. One is the traditional one: Noah's public act in constructing the massive ark was a warning to his neighbors, giving them time to repent. They chose not to. The other is just as interesting. By making Noah responsible for his own rescue, it is clear that people are partners with God. The miracle here is that God warned him and told him what to do. Some effort on our part is required as well.


Daniel M. Kimmel

Joined: October 2, 2007

Daniel M. Kimmel is a Boston area film critic, lecturer and author. He does these weekly mini-lessons for the Mishkan Tefila Brotherhood's newsletter. You are free to use them for similar purposes.

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